COVID-19 vs The Choir
During the year, we had performed in various places such as Middlesbrough Cathedral for BBC Teesside, St. Andrews Church in Corbridge, the Gala Theatre with Northern Lights, and at various events in and around Durham City. Through these performances, our choir became a close-knit community and almost like a family away from home. Unfortunately, many performance opportunities we were planning for were ripped away from us. This included the University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY) competition which had taken six months to prepare for; the John Fisher & IDMC Gospel Soul Choir concert at the O2 Academy (Newcastle) which had previously been cancelled in November; our European tour; two college balls; and general end of year fun. While these cancellations were disappointing, we were not going to let distance get in between us and our music. Hence, we began working on a cover of one of our more emotional pieces of the year: Kirk Franklin’s My Life My Love My All.
The Process of Creating the Track
Co-Musical Director-elect Daniel Goodwin created an incredible backing track two months prior (at the time, merely for fun). We decided that this track was too good simply not to be utilised. La’Marisa recorded an initial video, in which she conducted to a camera in her landing: an extremely difficult task, given a lack of choir! In response to this, 18 voices (five sopranos, six altos, four tenors and three basses) had sent their recordings to George to edit.
The production of the track, itself, took just less than a fortnight, while the synchronisation and editing of the video took less than a day. Other footage from our UGCY 2020 audition video, UGCY promotional video and our February concert at St. Andrews Church in Corbridge was also added in addition to the choir’s video recordings. The video was sent back and forth from George to the exec members to make sure that everyone stood out and the video was the best that it could be, which thanks to George it seems like it was.
The video was uploaded at 6pm on the 26th June, and since then has amassed over 9,000 views on Facebook and Instagram. From this exposure, our Facebook page surpassed the 1,000 likes mark, one of only four Music Durham groups to break this milestone since Northern Lights, Durham University Orchestral Society (DUOS) and Jazz Society. It’s comforting to know that the university can relate to the video and feel the love that pours out from the choir.
Every year, we have always had a ‘closing song’ which acts as a farewell to choir members that would graduate that year, and any exec members that would move on. When singing My Life My Love My All, it was nice to imagine our fellow members next to us, which made this video the farewell that all of us in the choir needed and deserved.